With constant news reports about the threats climate change pose to our future, people are wondering what they can do to help. Using less energy or buying an electric car are familiar options, but one idea may have a much larger effect: getting communities onto a microgrid. A microgrid is an area -- a few houses, a whole neighborhood, or even a town -- that has removed itself from the traditional power grid and is powered solely by renewable energy. Instead of using energy that may be generated through burning fossil fuels, microgrids derive their power from solar panels, wind power, and other renewable sources. Renewable energy has become cheaper over the past decade, meaning it is more affordable than ever to get a community onto a microgrid. In addition to a reduction in carbon footprint, microgrids can also have impact by showing large utilities that business models need to change.

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